With The Montreal Canadiens missing out on the 2019-2020 playoffs, they yet again turn to Trevor Timmins and Marc Bergevin to add hope for the future. With 14 picks in the 2020 NHL draft and three in the 2nd round, The Canadiens look to stock up on more promising pieces to the puzzle. In just three years The Montreal Canadiens have completely flipped around the wasteland prospect pool that was highlighted by names like Nikita Scherbak and Michael McCarron and turned it into a top 3 pool in the NHL.
5 Reasons for Hope in Montreal:
1. Cole Caufield.
University of Wisconsin
GP: 36 G: 19 A: 17 P: 36
After smashing records in and dominating the USNTDP, Caufield somehow slipped to #15 on the draft board in 2019 and was stolen by The Montreal Canadiens. A big reason to believe he dropped that far is simply because of his height. Standing at 5’7 and 162 pounds, Caufield would measure among the smallest players in the NHL today. With players such as Johnny Gaudreau and Alex Debrincat having much success in the NHL, there is no reason to believe Caufield cannot follow in their footsteps. With his quick hands and the ability to put the puck anywhere he desires, Caufield is exactly what the Canadiens need. An offensive juggernaut with the ability to score 30-40 goals per season is one reason to stay hopeful in Montreal. Cole Caufield is heading back to the University of Wisconsin for his Sophomore season.
2. Alexander Romanov.
GP: 43 G: 0 A: 7 P: 7
A big, solid, dependable defender. Alexander Romanov showed his prowess on the blueline this year with CSKA Moscow, not only by posting a new career-high in points, but also showing he can be leaned on to shut down the other team. Being a younger player in the KHL can be tough. Most of the minutes will likely go to the veteran defenders with years of pro hockey experience, not the fresh face 19-year-old. Romanov made use of the minutes given to him and showed the world exactly what he can do, earning him a 3-year, entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens can expect somebody that loves to play physical, has very good hockey IQ and will be a shutdown defender for them for years to come. A decision is yet to be made on where Romanov plays in the 2020-2021 season.
#Habs Romanov's agent Dan Milstein on conference call: "(Romanov)'s coming to Montreal on a one-way ticket… he's coming to Montreal for good." Romanov says he's ready for North American play, whether in AHL or NHL.
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) May 8, 2020
3. Cayden Primeau.
GP: 33 GAA: 2.45 S%: .908
Son of former NHL Center Keith Primeau, Cayden, started out his pro career with the Laval Rocket posting very respectable numbers in his rookie campaign. Primeau was awarded the Mike Richter award for the 2018-2019 season as the top goalie in U.S. college hockey, while also leading Northeastern to back-to-back Beanpot Tournament victories. With Carey Price at the helm of the franchise for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to say exactly what Primeau’s future holds with the Montreal Canadiens. With the backup situation currently going on in Montreal, one can’t help but wonder if they have the solution already in the organization. Primeau played 2 games with the big club in the 2019 season posting a 1-1 record with a .931 Sv%. Cayden will likely be back in Laval for the 2020-2021 season as the starting goaltender.
4. Mattias Norlinder.
MODO Hockey Ornskoldsvik
GP: 34 G: 7 A: 11 P: 18
The great Max Pacioretty trade that gave the Montreal Canadiens Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki and Mattias Norlinder. With the main piece of that trade being Nick Suzuki, The Montreal Canadiens are more than pleased with also acquiring that draft pick which ended up being Defender Mattias Norlinder. Not knowing much about Norlinder, Canadiens fans were a little confused by the draft choice at the time while more known players like Albin Grewe, Nathan Legare, and Anttoni Honka were still on the board. Looking back it appears Montreal made the correct choice. With speed, quick hands, and a deadly wrist shot, Norlinder is starting to look like a modern-day NHL defenceman. Norlinder signed with the Frölunda Indians of the SHL for the 2020-2021 season where he will continue to develop and work to become an NHL defender someday.
— Pavel Barber (@HeyBarber) September 25, 2019
5. Jordan Harris.
GP: 33 G: 3 A: 18 P: 21
Jordan Harris who was taken in the 3rd round of the 2018 NHL Draft is one player who has seen his stock rise significantly. In his Sophomore season with Northeastern, Harris was given more minutes and was leaned on heavily in all situations for the Huskies. The left-shot defender showed that he can play either side in the World Juniors for the Americans who were stocked on talent on the left side. Harris can develop into a very solid two-way defender at the NHL level and has shown great promise for a never certain, 3rd round draft pick. Harris will likely spend another year in Northeastern before turning pro. Canadiens need to be patient but if all works out, Harris will be a solid #4-5 NHL defender with the ability to shut down the opposing PP or rush the puck up the ice and put it in the back of the net.
The Montreal Canadiens have turned one of the least promising prospect pools in the NHL into one that has expert analysts calling top 3 in the league. From potential offensive superstars in Players like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield to shutdown defenders like Alexander Romanov and Jayden Struble, the Canadiens have more than 5 reasons to be hopeful for the future.